Categories: HCBS, Services


John Nguyen


Categories: HCBS, Services


John Nguyen


Living with a disability can be rough, especially if you are living alone. Thankfully, if you have Medicaid, there is a healthcare option for you to live independently, with a little help from a friend or family member through HCBS. Learn how HCBS can provide you a little extra assistance in daily living.

What is HCBS?

HCBS stands for “Home and Community Based Services.” The benefit of HCBS is that it works through Medicaid. If you live in the state of Kansas, Medicaid is also known as KanCare. Home and Community Based Services allows you to employ a friend or family member to assist you in day-to-day chores by having them work under you as a caregiver, known as a Personal Care Service Worker (PCSW). When we say “employ,” we really mean it. In other words, your PCSW is able to earn a wage just by assisting you in daily life. The amount that your PCSW can earn is based on your plan of care that is provided by the government.

Difference Between HCBS, CDS, FMS

You may have also heard it called something like “Consumer Directed Services,” or even “Financial Management Services.”  Different states might have a different name. At the end of the day, the idea is relatively similar. Just know that Kansas calls it HCBS.

Contact KDADS

Kansas’ HCBS process works through a referral. You also need a Waiver that shows that you need care. You can find a full list of Waivers on the KDADS website. Once you have obtained a waiver, you can call the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) and request a provider, like The Whole Person, and they will get you situated with a plan of care based on your needs that they have evaluated. This plan of care is essentially how many hours your Personal Care Service Worker is able to work for you per month. After KDADS has set you up with a provider, it will be time to decide on your PCSW.

Choose your PCSW

The PCSW is generally someone you can trust, like a friend, or family member. It is important to note that the PCSW is not meant to act as a nurse, but as an assistant. Most people are permitted to be your PCSW. For a general list, please check this chart:

Who can be your PCSW?

  • Friends
  • Relatives
  • Children (Aged 18+)
  • Spouse

Person must be able to pass a background check before becoming a PCSW

PCSWs will be able to help with chores like doing the laundry or provide a home-cooked meal. Depending on the plan of care, they may also be able to assist with grooming, showering, and more.

What’s the Role of The Whole Person?

The Whole Person works with you and your Personal Care Attendant to provide payroll services. We help pay your PCSW and also keep track of how many hours your PCSW is allowed to work for you, as well as tax-related issues for the HCBS program. The maximum number of hours allotted is based on an evaluation by KDADS. Be aware that KDADS does not determine what specific days your PCA can work. That is actually decided by you, the participant. It is recommended to evenly spread out the hours throughout the month so that your PCSW does not reach the maximum time too fast. You want to get your PCA paid after all.


HCBS is a great way to continue with independent living. For those with a disability and are on Medicaid, think about how HCBS can impact your life. Through the assistance of a Personal Care Service Worker, you can go through your day-to-day life while also managing to get a friend or family member paid. The Whole Person is proud to help with payroll for HCBS and will also be a great asset in managing your plan of care.

To learn more about HCBS, click HERE

To find waivers, click HERE

About the Author: John Nguyen

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